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Former restaurant location replaced by three new spots for Asian fusion, sushi and Thai rolled ice cream.

Franki Hanke, Senior Reporter

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Former Mai Village restaurant closed to be replaced by a collected trio of new restaurants: Tapestry, Monokon, and Sota Hot and Cold serving Asian fusion, sushi and Thai rolled ice cream respectively, as reported by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

 

Since then, Tapestry has added a new dim sum menu featuring a wide range of small plate options served in an a-la-carte style that allows one to sample a lot of different items without spending a huge amount.

 

However, sampling a lot of different items might not be any fun if there is an overarching theme of disappointment. Tapestry, since opening, garnered some bad reviews across online platforms with under three stars on Yelp and Google alike. In defense of the Asian fusion locale, much of the diner complained of slow or disinterested service, which seems to have been one problem solved.

 

Next up will be to solve their food, as much of it was not great and stayed on the plate when I left. Of the dim sum, the lotus sticky rice and salt and pepper squid were the most satisfying, though the rice needed more flavor and the squid needed something to balance its flavor set. The preparation of the squid left the meat tender, with none of the rubberiness of inept preparation of the seafood.

 

On the other hand, the shu mai dumplings and the shanghai egg rolls stayed mostly uneaten at the end of the meal while the pork buns were floury and dry without any of the pillowy softness of successful steamed buns.

 

Alongside the meal, Monkon acts as a bar for the entire connected space for the three restaurants and provided a decent selection of beverages and interesting sushi offerings that may be a good option to sample next as their online reviews have been entirely positive since the recent openings with diners both about the food and the service.

 

For cheap dim sum in the Twin Cities, Tapestry is certainly an option, but it might not be the best one. However, for rolled ice cream, Sota Hot and Cold cannot be missed.

 

Unlike their counterpart for the meal, the dessert found at Sota’s establishment surpassed expectations with a minimal wait despite a massive crowd and a creamy, flavorful experience that far overwhelmed my previous experience with fun, but bland rolled ice cream elsewhere.

 

One can choose from one of their signature rolls or make their own combination from a variety of fresh ingredients and watch as their ice cream rolls are made in front of them. For $6, it doesn’t earn the ‘affordable’ description like Tapestry, but it is worlds more enjoyable.

 

Sota’s rolls live up to the bright presentation that fills their Instagram feed and promises to provide something both delicious for your camera and your mouth, so unlike what your mother’s always told you, in this case it might be best to eat dessert first.

 

For those interested in trying Tapestry, Monkon or Sota Hot and Cold for themselves, the three are located together with the Hmong American Partnership that manages them at 394 University Ave W in St. Paul.

 

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Skip straight to dessert